• La Liga

Suarez 'very happy to feel like a footballer again'

ESPN staff
August 15, 2014
Luis Suarez trained for the first time at Barcelona since joining the club © Getty Images

Luis Suarez says he is "happy to be with his team-mates and feel like a footballer again" after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) allowed the Barcelona striker to return to training.

Suarez, 27, saw his four-month worldwide ban for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in the World Cup upheld on Thursday after an appeal to CAS.

However, the Uruguay international was told that he can now take part in training as well as feature in friendly matches - things he was prohibited from doing when FIFA handed out the ban in June.

Suarez took part in Barcelona training for the first time on Friday - having signed for the club from Liverpool last month for £75 million - and he said he is relieved to be able to be back with a ball at his feet.

"I'm very happy to feel like a footballer again and to be with my team-mates," he told reporters. "I really wanted to get going.

"It was an uncomfortable situation. I'm paying for an error that I committed."

Suarez is set to finally be unveiled as a Barcelona player on Monday, while he could even make his first appearance for the club that evening in the Joan Gamper Trophy clash against Mexican side Leon.

"Now I have to wait to get back playing, and to have contact with the fans and experience what it's like to play in the Camp Nou," he said.

"I'm very thankful to the club for all they've done for me in the last few days and weeks. They've treated me well and I'm grateful because I'm achieving a dream to play with Barca."

The first competitive match in which Suarez will be eligible to play for the club could be El Clasico - the Liga meeting with Real Madrid at the Bernabeu - if the match is set for October 26, when the Spanish league announces that weekend's schedule.

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